"Way Down East" (1920) director D. W. Griffith, cinematographer Billy Bitzer
D. W. Griffith
, Billy Bitzer
, Lillian Gish
, Richard Barthelmess
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"Way Down East" is a poignant drama directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. This film illustrates the work of cinematographer Billy Bitzer, a star of Silent Hall of Fame.
Audio/Visual sound, color
The film tells the story about a society that ostracizes women for having a child out of wedlock. Anna meets a man, who, in order to get her affections, sets up a fake marriage with her. Then after she becomes pregnant he betrays her. Anna's baby dies and she is banned from the boarding house.
Anna finds work in the house of a certain squire, the richest farmer in the neighborhood. The son of the family falls in love with her, but she rejects his advances knowing that her past will catch up with her sooner or later.
Then one day the squire finds out that Anna had a baby out of wedlock. His prejudice is so strong that he drives her out of the house at night into the blizzard.
Out in the open fields with freezing winds blowing Anna quickly becomes disoriented and exhausted. She loses her coat and falls down on the frozen river bank. Then the ice breaks and she is carried away downstream.
The young man desperately looks for her in the dark. When he reaches the river he sees her in the distance lying on a piece of ice that is carrying her downstream towards the waterfall and a certain death.
The film has an outstanding 8.1 rating in IMDB.
Directed by D. W. Griffith
Produced by D. W. Griffith
Scenario by Anthony Paul Kelly
Based on Way Down East by Lottie Blair Parker
Starring Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess
Cinematography Billy Bitzer
Editing by James Smith and Rose Smith
Distributed by United Artists
Release date September 3, 1920
Running time 123 min
Country United States
Language Silent film, English intertitles
You can see a slideshow of stills from this film and other interesting stuff on our website silent-hall-of-fame.org.
Silent Hall of Fame is the only place where we actively work to bring back from oblivion the names and legacy of formerly illustrious silent movie stars, which have made a major contribution to the industry and the world but do not have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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Preserving the legacy of silent movie stars
April 24, 2014
This copy has no main title, otherwise it would be five stars. There is someone else who uploaded this, but only included two minutes or so of the film. A main title is included there if the person who posted it did not remove it
March 16, 2014
If the words classic cinema have any meaning, they apply to this film.